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St Junien la Bregere
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 2
Persons: 2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 57880
Country: France

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Last Updated: October 7, 2017

Do you have enthusiasm and the ability to see what needs to be done and simply do it, with little or no prompting? If so, we'd love to hear from you! If you also have skills in carpentry or building, that would be a welcome bonus. Most of the time, however, you'd be working alongside Steve (Steve is a patient and experienced teacher - always willing to share and his skills and to learn new ways of doing things). We also need practical help with the usual landscaping, wood cutting etc- and in exchange, can offer comfortable accommodation and good food with, hopefully, a few laughs and mutual lessons along the way :)

We're a friendly and hospitable couple living in the Creuse department of the Limousin - a water wonderland with thousands of streams running throughout the region. Its pure, clear water is one of Limousin's main assets. Limousin is also a land of contrasts where steep valleys, picturesque villages, peat bogs, moorland, bucolic pathways, hills and enchanting forests peacefully intertwine to create a kaleidoscope of landscapes!

Steve and I first visited the region in 2014 to view a small rundown campsite, complete with 'Napoleonic farmhouse', nestled on a wooded hillside and miles away from civilization. It was love at first sight and, as we fell into the embrace of its peaceful tranquility, we both immediately knew we had found our dream. A year later, we arrived at our campsite from the UK with our pack of four snow-dogs - and without any illusions of the hard work that lay ahead of us, if we were to survive in France. Eighteen months later, many of our planned projects are completed, but there still remain a few that are not quite - and a few more that we'd love to start.

Last season, our campsite was more or less fully booked throughout July and August 2016 - and that was it for the year! Indeed, although the campsite may one day make a small profit, it will always be a hobby venture rather than a profitable business. For example, what little money we took during July and August 2016 was soon absorbed into renovation budget for the campsite and the farmhouse.

Our little campsite only has 6 pitches plus a yurt, so it's easy to maintain a laid back and friendly atmosphere - and enjoy spending time with our campers. It also helps that Steve and I genuinely like meeting new people and learning about them and their lives. So far, we have welcomed guests from Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain, England, Australia and, of course, France. My French improved every day last season - but I still always introduce myself by saying "Bonjour - j'apprends le français lentement" (Hello - I am learning French slowly) and I find this dispels any illusions visitors might have that they are dealing with someone who's a fluent French speaker!

Most people really love our four dogs - but we understand that dogs aren't for everyone (no matter how big, cuddly and friendly they are) and so we keep them in their own enclosed garden - well away from the campsite. However, they live in the house with us - and it is very much a case of 'love us - love our dogs' The heated pool is very popular with most of our guests (and helpers) and is open from June to September. If you decide to come and share our lives for a while, you'll obviously be more than welcome to cool off in the pool after a hot day's work!

Our current projects include erecting basic post and rail wooden fencing, pointing the stone farmhouse walls, rubbing down/painting wooden shutters and doors, general gardening and landscaping.

Other work we may possibly appreciate help with includes grass trimming with the sit-on mower, weeding, wood chopping/gathering and other general maintenance chores.

Future projects, when finances allow, include building a few quirky cabins in our woods and reducing the height of our dilapidated old barn to make a sound single storey usable building.

EATING & SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the farmhouse, where Chris cooks tasty but frill-free food. In the evenings we tend to relax with a glass of wine or beer in the living room with our four dogs (they're too big for lap dogs - but no-one's told them that) and chat or maybe watch a little TV - and you would be more than welcome to join us.

Your sleeping accommodation is a large double bed in a fully equipped modern 5 berth caravan, 50 yards from the house. The caravan has central heating and there is a gas hob and microwave for cooking, a fridge, lots of storage space for personal items, a cassette toilet, a shower and a comfy seating area to relax in. There is also a TV which currently only receives French channels. Our WiFi speeds are slow out here and, as you sometimes have to run around the campsite to get a phone signal, you're welcome to use our landline for important calls.

HOW TO GET TO US:
we're about an hour from Limoges airport which is served by Flybe, Ryanair and Air France. We can collect you from the airport or train station in Eymoutiers - or other locations within a reasonable driving distance from us.

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